Chinese military lodges stern representations to Japan over latter's Defence White Paper

Chinese paramilitary policemen march outside the Great Hall of the People after attending a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, in Beijing on Aug 1, 2017.
Chinese paramilitary policemen march outside the Great Hall of the People after attending a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, in Beijing on Aug 1, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - The Chinese military is firmly opposed to the China-related contents in Japan's Defence White Paper and has lodged stern representations to Tokyo, Chinese Defence Ministry's spokesman Wu Qian said on Tuesday (Aug 8) night.

In a statement published on the official website of China's Ministry of National Defence, Senior Colonel Wu said the section on China in the annual Defence White Paper is full of lies and stereotypes.

"The 2017 Defence White Paper ... still contains cliche about China, which is full of vicious denigration of the Chinese military and blatant deception of the international community," said Col Wu.

In its Defence White Paper approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, Japan claimed that "China tried to change the status quo in East China Sea and South China Sea based on its own assertions, and this has become a common concern of the region and the world at large".

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Col Wu said that as a matter of fact, it is "Japan that is trying to change the status quo and has caused concerns in the international community".

He said that Japan has adjusted its military and security policies, tries to amend the Pacifist Constitution, makes vigorous expansion of armaments, and conducts highly targeted military deployments.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement that Japan has tried to play up security threats from neighbouring countries in order to create excuses for expanding its military power and amending its Constitution, China Daily reported on Wednesday.

"We urge the Japanese side to draw lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development and act with caution in military and security fields," Mr Geng said, asking Japan to do more to help enhance mutual trust in politics and security between the two countries, instead of doing the opposite.

In the statement on Tuesday night, Col Wu also refuted the Defence White Paper's "lies on China's military development and accusations of the transparency of China's defence policy", according to Xinhua news agency.

The statement said that China implements a national defence policy that is defensive in nature as well as a military strategy of active defence. It actively expands military exchanges, and participates in peacekeeping, escort and humanitarian aid operations.

"Why does Japan turn a blind eye to these facts? Why does it keep telling lies to deceive the international community? What's its real intention?" said Col Wu.

The Defence White Paper also claimed that Chinese ships have frequently "encroached upon Japan's territorial sea".

Tokyo has long complained about Beijing's routine dispatch of coast guard ships to Japan's territorial waters surrounding disputed islands in the East China Sea. Tokyo controls the islands it calls the Senkaku while Beijing claims them as the Diaoyu.

Col Wu said that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets are China territory, which is fully backed by historical and legal documents. Therefore, China's legitimate activities within its territorial sea will continue as a routine, according to the statement.

The statement accused Japan of actively meddling in the South China Sea affairs as a country out of the region.

China and Asean countries had agreed on a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea during the Asean foreign ministers' meeting in Manila on Sunday, reported China Daily. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had called on Japan to play a more constructive role in regional peace and stability instead of following other countries' lead to stir up trouble.